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Adaptive genetic variation within barn owl Tyto alba populations

Titel Englisch Adaptive genetic variation within barn owl Tyto alba populations
Gesuchsteller/in Fumagalli Luca
Nummer 109852
Förderungsinstrument Projektförderung (Abt. I-III)
Forschungseinrichtung Département d'Ecologie et d'Evolution Faculté de Biologie et de Médecine Université de Lausanne
Hochschule Universität Lausanne - LA
Hauptdisziplin Zoologie
Beginn/Ende 01.05.2006 - 31.12.2009
Bewilligter Betrag 227'000.00
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Alle Disziplinen (2)


Keywords (7)

Local adaptation; selection; outlier loci; MHC; AFLP; Population genomics; conservation

Lay Summary (Englisch)

Lay summary
The characterization of adaptive molecular variation is critical to understand the genetic basis of local adaptation in natural populations. Although neutral markers such as autosomal microsatellites have been intensively studied to infer population genetic processes and conservation strategies, they are not directly evolving in response to selection and are not informative about adaptive variation. Thanks to improved and new molecular techniques and statistical methods, the detection and location of loci under the influence of selection in natural populations can be achieved through the emerging approach of population genomics. By means of genome-wide sampling techniques, locus-specific effects such as selection can be discriminated and provide informations about genes critical for fitness and adaptation. In this project we propose to follow two approches to study adaptive variation in natural populations of the barn owl Tyto alba, a species for which we already possess a huge amount of quantitative and life-history trait data as well as tissue samples for DNA analysis. The first approach rely on the study of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) variation, a multigene system involved in immune response and disease resistance, hence influencing fitness and indicative of adaptive evolution. In particular, we intend to test whether there is a relation between fitness-related traits in barn owl and variability at MHC, as well as whether the extent of variation for neutral loci and the MHC loci are correlated. Second, we will identify with a population genomic approach loci under selection by sampling groups of individuals of T. alba in two independent populations across a phenotypic or environmental gradient for a given trait. Outlier loci shown to be under selection will be used to better understand local adaptations and locate genomic regions associated with certain life traits. The present project will stimulate the controversial debate about the use of adaptive differences for long-term management and conservation of endangered populations. In addition, the identification of loci under selection represent the first necessary step before the unraveling of the molecular mechanisms responsible for local adaptations through comparison with published genomic data (comparative genomics).
Direktlink auf Lay Summary Letzte Aktualisierung: 21.02.2013

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